Alister and Michelle Donald, together with son Jordan, farm 217 hectares of easy rolling country near Geraldine in South Canterbury. Their primary crop is lambs. 6,000 of them, over-wintered for sale in the spring. Accordingly around 25% of the farm is dedicated to winter feed, mostly kale and rape. That’s augmented by some cereal silage in the spring and some dairy grazing through the summer months. August and September are the busiest times for cultivation and that, says Alister, is where their SSDR XL Deep Ripper comes into its own, repairing feeding-out compaction. In the early years, (they’ve been on this property for coming-up eight years) they had ploughed using a contractor but decided to switch to completing all work themselves so a change was necessary and the deep ripper saves time and passes.
“The ripper plays a big part in our cultivation. It covers twice as much ground as the plough and does a better job. It was also a good price.” Alister says he did some research before deciding on the FarmChief ripper. “They had the model that suited our 140hp tractor best and it had features that others didn’t.” He’s particularly impressed by the wings on the tines that lift the soil profile, and the double spike roller that gives a firm and fine seedbed. “It does two or three jobs in one. You save time and fuel, and there’re fewer passes. The angle of the tines also makes penetration really easy.” “We have a heavy clay based soil and it does suffer from compaction. It can be an issue. The ripper lets us go down 500 mm and finds its depth quickly, and when you want to go deep, this is the best machine for the job. The secret is to travel at 9-10km/hr to get the shattering effect.” At 1300kg, Alister says it’s also easy to pick up and turn at the end of each run. With time being of the essence, the ripper can not only work more quickly but also handles conditions where a plough couldn’t work. “It’s far more forgiving and versatile.” “It’s there to do a job, and it does it well.” A recent modification is fitting optional side skirts that control the dirt that’s flung out and means there are no ridges from each pass.
FarmChief have provided excellent after sale service and their product knowledge was also impressive says Alister.
- SSDR Ripper